It had been a long, hard, agonizing day.
Konoha was notorious for its achingly hot summers, and Sakura had chosen, in her infinite lack of wisdom, to put off the apartment hunting till last minute. In retrospect, this was not her cleverest idea.
Well, she was really paying for it this time. So far, she'd visited eight different apartment complexes today, only to be told by eight different landlords that there were absolutely no vacancies.
Serves me right for putting this shit off, she thought angrily, crossing yet another building off her list.
She'd gotten into Konoha University on a full scholarship. Premed major, just like she'd always wanted. Everyone back home in Suna had been so, so happy for her, and she'd been thrilled for herself. So thrilled, in fact, that she neglected to read her acceptance letter in its entirety.
Specifically, the part at the bottom that stated that due to an unexpectedly high influx of incoming freshmen to the university, there were not enough dormitories available on campus to accommodate everyone.
Therefore, Sakura had enjoyed her summer with her friends, laughing and joking and it wasn't until the first week of August that she realized she needed to find her own damn apartment.
Apparently, though, she wasn't alone; hundreds of new freshmen found themselves scrambling to find roommates and apartments close to campus. Sakura was presented with two decidedly unique problems in that area:
She was the only one of her friends who would be attending Konoha University, she didn't know any of her future classmates yet, and therefore had absolutely no one to stay with;
And she didn't have a license. Couldn't drive. Which meant wherever she chose to live would need to be within walking distance of school.
There were nine apartment complexes that fit both her price range (cheap) and proximity requirements. The only trouble was, eight of those nine were completely booked solid, and by the time she trudged herself through the scorching hot streets of Konoha to the ninth, she was desperate, and had almost no hope for success.
Next time, you read the fine print, you stupid asshole, she scolded herself for the umpteenth time, ringing the bell outside the building to be let inside. You don't just stop reading at 'Congratulations!' You keep reading and you learn all the details and you don't get fucking left behind and homeless and shit because you're too vainglorious to plan your own future!
"Shady Leaf Village Apartment Suites, how may I help you?" the cool voice chimed over the intercom.
"Hi, I'm Sakura Haruno," Sakura replied back into the microphone, trying not to sound as winded as she felt after such an unbearable morning. "I called earlier to inquire about a potential vacancy?"
The words sounded practiced to her own ears, and she almost winced at how fake she was coming off, but she would need to keep her temper in check for this building and hope to God they had one stupid apartment left over for her.
"Ah, yes, welcome Miss Haruno. Please come inside, Landlord's Office. Mr. Hatake will be with you shortly."
The door buzzed, unlocked itself, and swung forward to admit her. She quickly ran her fingers through her hair and wiped the smudged mascara clumping in the corners of her eyes to restore some semblance of composure, and stepped inside without much hope at all for her future.
The building was nice. Simple, but clean. The paint on the walls looked new, smelled new, a nice neutral tan color, and the carpets were a rich burgundy color. She headed down the hallway to the door marked "Landlord," and the name "Kakashi Hatake" emblazoned in gold underneath. After a tentative knock, she entered.
The landlord was not present, but to her surprise, there was someone else sitting in front of the desk, fingers threaded beneath his chin. It was a boy with jet black messy hair and dark eyes, about her age; he looked up at her when she opened the door with one eyebrow raised.
Well helloooo handsome, she thought, impressed by his arrogant attitude and perfect bone structure.
"Oh, sorry," she said. "They told me to come into the office to wait for Mr. Hatake, I didn't realize someone else was already here."
The boy said nothing, merely turned away from her as though she hadn't spoken. Rethinking her initially positive first impression of him, she narrowed her eyes slightly and without asking his permission, took the empty seat beside him to wait for the landlord.
If the boy was irritated by her actions, he didn't voice it. Instead, he glared at the empty landlord's chair as though it had said something to personally offend him, and Sakura wondered if she was sitting in the presence of some type of psychopathic serial killer.
It was uncomfortable.
Moments passed in stifling silence. She kept sneaking peeks at the rude gorgeous hottiehot out of the corner of her eye, and saw that he looked decidedly irritated. Perhaps he'd been waiting for much longer than she had.
Apparently "punctuality" wasn't a term in Kakashi Hatake's vocabulary.
How dare he keep a lady waiting? She fumed silently, her arms folded. It was easier and easier to ignore the sexy douchebag sitting beside her, the more she concentrated on her rotten day and this newest inconvenience. All this shit today, I'm still homeless, and my only hope decides to hang me out to dry like soaking wet laundry and now my metaphors suck ass because I'm tired and I didn't have my morning three cups of coffee so I'm definitely going to be into shock, I believe, from caffeine deprivation and…
She blinked and looked around at the boy, who'd spoken. His voice was deep, attractive, but overshadowed by his unbelievable rudeness. He still wasn't looking at her.
"Stop what?" she asked, fighting to keep her tone calm.
"Hn. You're breathing too hard. It's annoying."
Breathing. Too. Hard.
"Oh. I see. I apologize, from the bottom of my heart. You see, you dickhead," (here the boy looked up, surprised, apparently, at her complete abandonment of her temper) "I've had the worst day of my life so far. Okay? This is the ninth fucking building I've had to look at now since apparently, KU accepts students without having enough room to house them all and apparently EVERYONE GOT THE MEMO BUT ME so there are absolutely no rooms left in the city for me to have which means I will be homeless for college if this shit doesn't work out. The landlord's late, my cell phone's dead, and this building looks to be more expensive than I can afford waiting tables but my only other alternative is suicide so if I'm BREATHING TOO HARD for your personal taste, why don't you go find yourself a nice, rusty railroad spike and suck. It. Dry for all I care."
The boy, to his credit, looked appropriately affronted. Sakura was somewhat proud that she'd crammed so many words into that rant without taking a breath, and would have been furious to know that the boy could maintain his apathy throughout, but he couldn't. His dark eyes narrowed angrily and he opened his mouth to say something doubtlessly rude in return, but they were interrupted by the door opening.
"Ah, Mr. Uchiha! I didn't realize you would be bringing your lovely wife with you today!"
Both Sakura and her enemy whirled around to see a man standing in the threshold, silvery gray hair in a mop on top of his head, and most of his face hidden by a surgical mask. Only one eye was visible, crinkled up presumably in a smile.
A surgical mask? Sakura thought, creeped out completely. What does he need THAT for? Is this building a breeding ground for swine flu, perhaps? Or maybe it's a meth lab, and he's hiding his face to avoid detection by anti-narcotic agencies, or…
"Wait, excuse me?" She finally registered Mr. Hatake's words, and looked horrified. "I am not his wife! Are you crazy?"
Nice move, you idiot, she thought furiously. This man is your only hope at avoiding sleeping in the subway station and you call him crazy.
"My mistake," said Kakashi genially as he stepped around them and took a seat at his desk. "I was told I had a meeting today with a Mr…Sasuke Uchiha, if my records are correct?"
The boy beside Sakura nodded once, curtly. His name was Sasuke, then, huh? Nice name.
"Then who might you be, young lady?" Kakashi asked her kindly.
"My name's Sakura Haruno," she replied, shaking his hand as he offered it to her. "Sorry for the confusion, I called earlier and your receptionist told me to come by whenever to ask about an open apartment?"
"Ah," Kakashi said, opening his laptop and typing something Sakura couldn't see. His lone visible eye swept across the screen before he continued, "Well, there's good news, and there's bad news, kids."
Shit, thought Sakura, glaring at Sasuke to find he was glaring right back at her.
"We do have availability here at Shady Leaf Village."
Sweet! She thought.
"But only one apartment, unfortunately."
"I'll take it," Sasuke said shortly.
"Wait a minute!" Sakura snapped indignantly. "I'LL take it! Why do YOU get to have it?"
"I was here first, you nutcase," he hissed.
"I'm a girl, you potential serial killer!" she shot back, furious. "Whatever happened to chivalry?"
"If I may," Kakashi interjected, looking remarkably unruffled considering the cyclone of conflict brewing between his two prospective clients, "the apartment we have available is a two-bedroom. It's not unheard of to share it, as roommates."
There was a beat of silence, then-
"No fucking way," Sasuke snapped.
"I'd rather be homeless!" Sakura snarled.
Kakashi sighed and closed his laptop.
"I'm afraid that might be your only option at this point, Miss Haruno," he said. "You see, Shady Leaf Village is catered primarily to students. Am I correct in assuming that you both are either attending Konoha University presently, or WILL be attending in the fall?"
Sakura nodded; to her irritation, so did Sasuke. Figures, the only Konoha student she knew so far was a complete and utter asshole.
"Then you might have a problem seeking living arrangements elsewhere. Lately, the only availabilities are in the apartment complexes and condos downtown, further from campus and much, much more expensive."
"Why can't you just give it to me and let her work her own shit out?" Sasuke growled.
"Chivalry's not dead, Sasuke," Kakashi said lightly. "What if I show you both the apartment before you make a decision?"
Sakura glared at Sasuke; he glared right back. But both of them stood up with Kakashi, and followed him down the hallway and outside.
Shady Leaf Village was a considerably large complex, comprised of four buildings with twenty apartments in each. Kakashi led them to the smallest building, which, Sakura realized delightedly, was directly adjacent to the swimming pool.
Rooming with Sasuke was seeming less and less repugnant the more she fell in love with the area.
He had his hands shoved in his pockets as they walked, and was stewing in his own anger. She mused that such a handsome face was wasted on such a rancid personality, as Kakashi unlocked Building C and led them inside.
Apartment C-17 was on the first floor, at the very end of the hall. Kakashi opened the door for them and invited them inside.
"Well, here you go!" he said with a smile (Sakura guessed it was, anyway, she was still plenty weirded out by the face mask.) "Why don't you both take a look around?"
Sakura loved it right away. It was small, simple, clean and bright; the rooms were painted utilitarian white, and each featured wide windows that let in plenty of light. There were two bedrooms of equal size, two bathrooms, a decent-sized living room and a finished kitchen.
Affording a two-bedroom by herself, however, was an issue.
Judging by the look on Sasuke's face, he seemed to be thinking the same thing. He looked at her warily, like he was sizing her up to see how compatible they might be as roommates. At least, that's how she was looking at him.
"So what'll it be, kids?" Kakashi asked, once they were all gathered in the empty living room. "I have a lot of students behind you who'd jump at the chance to stay here, so I suggest you make a decision quickly."
"You won't sell it to me alone, will you?" Sasuke asked, his tone pulsing with annoyance.
"Or me?" Sakura chimed in.
Kakashi chuckled. "Right you are. So do we have a deal? Or will you both be attending the University of Perennial Homelessness?"
Sakura knew she hated Sasuke Uchiha. Loathed him, actually. From his smug attitude to his gorgeous face to his killer body to his rippling muscles to his…she stopped herself right there.
But this was about her future.
And Kakashi was right; there was no way she could afford an apartment downtown. Hell, she couldn't even afford THIS apartment, not without a roommate. And she didn't know anyone at all in Konoha, besides this angry boy with the too-gorgeous face.
"I'm in if you are," Sakura said finally, sensing that this boy might be even more stubborn than she was.
Sasuke looked her up and down with suspicious eyes before folding his arms in surrender.
"Aa," he agreed.
"Excellent!" Kakashi said happily. "Welcome to Shady Leaf Village, then, kids! If you'll come with me, I'll have you both sign your lives over to me…I mean, sign your leases…and we can discuss move-in dates!"
Sakura did not miss Kakashi's slip of tongue, and if the look of outrage on Sasuke's face was any indication, he didn't either. They followed him out of C-17, back to the landlord's building, where Kakashi slapped them both with a forty-page lease agreement full of legal jargon Sakura could hardly decipher.
She got the distinct sense she was signing her soul to the devil, but hell, her education was on the line here.
I cannot believe I am doing this right now, she thought, as she initialed each section individually with a flourish of her pen. Moving in with a strange boy…an asshole, actually…I met literally twenty minutes ago. Daddy please don't shoot me. Sasuke please don't shoot me.
If Sasuke WAS a serial killer (and she strongly suspected he might be), then she was making herself the easiest possible target. She watched him warily out of the corner of her eye as he scrawled his name on each required line of his lease, and decided to invest in a very good bolt lock for her bedroom door.
If he wanted to kill her, she was not going to make it easy for him.
The signing took longer than the showing had. When she was done, her hand was cramped up and it hurt to reach into her wallet to extract her checkbook, and sign away her security deposit and what was left of her sanity. Sasuke did the same, and to her pleasant surprise, between the two of them, the rent wouldn't be so terrible.
In fact, as long as Sasuke made his payment on time each month and didn't try to slaughter her in her sleep, they really could make this work.
"All right!" Kakashi said, looking over their leases with his lone eye crinkled up. "Everything looks to be in order. Here's your keys. One copy for each of you. Your mailbox is in the mailroom, C-17. You're welcome to move in anytime between now and the end of the month. Any questions?"
Sakura shook her head. So did Sasuke.
"Perfect! It's been a pleasure, kids. Welcome to Shady Leaf Village!"
Well, shit. Sakura glanced at her new roommate, who was staring at the carpet as if willing it to burst into flame.
At least she wasn't homeless.
What the fuck did I just do?!
note.. Hi everybody! Hope you like this new jawn. Have a great weekend!